Note from Sigrid: Sorry that we skipped June and July! Life just got in the way. To make up for it, Muriel is sharing not just one, but dozens of book tips!
I’m not often on a beach or by the side of a swimming pool, but I’m told this is the season, and if memory serves me well, this is when people sunbathe, swim and read crime fiction. So I decided to dedicate my (again: belated) June
A disclaimer first: I can’t stomach
I usually read a Slaughter when I have the flu and I’m stuck in bed – which is seldom the case, which explains why I’m still in the middle of Slaughter’s excellent Grant County series (
I love to read series, as I’m easily attached to characters and enjoy reading about how they develop over time. I have some favorites – as in: I’ve read every book in it – and that is specifically the case for the Inspector Morse series by Colin Dexter (first one in a series of 13 is “Last Bus to Woodstock”),and the Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell (first one in a series of 11 is “Faceless Killers”). Sherlock Holmes is one of my favorites too, but you read Holmes in winter, not summer.
What I like best is historical crime fiction: it’s like killing two birds with one stone. There’s a huge spectrum here, from the very literary “The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco (well yes, this *is* a crime novel) to books that are more squarely in the genre. I like to read it all! Favorites include the Fandorin series by Boris Akunin (19th century Russia; “The Winter Queen” is the first in the series), the Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom (16th century England; 7 big fat novels so far, of which “Dissolution” is the first, and “Tombland” the most recent – still have to read some of those!) and the Falco series by Lindsey Davies (1st century AD Rome, 20 novels of which “The Silver Pigs” is the first – still looking for a month off to read them all).
There’s also such a thing as ‘art history crime’ (I can almost hear Sigrid say: “Of *course* you would like something as outlandish as ‘art history crime’. What is it anyway?”) and a great and addictive example is Iain Pears’ Jonathan Argyll series (first book “The Raphael Affair”). It’s about an Art Crime Squad in Italy, and even if you think “that does not interest me”, believe me: it’s FASCINATING. Pears is best-known for historical mystery novels, of which “An Instance of the Fingerpost” is the most famous. I know I enjoyed this immensely, but I’ve read it ages ago (1997, I think. Wow).
Current crime? Well … I’ve read “Girl on the Train” (an ‘ok’ start but it gets predictable; still, most people seem to love it), “The Woman in the Window” (well-written but an over-the-top dénouement; most people seem to love it though) and “The Mars Room” (I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, so I must have liked it, even though I can’t for the life of me remember what it is about, except it reminded me of Orange Is The New Black, which I love! Most people seemed to have loved it too).
I’ve just finished something quite special – at least when you look at it as crime fiction, which some people say it’s not. I don’t want to spill any beans here, but if you want to read something surprising, daring and quite out-of-the-ordinary, I heartily recommend “Reservoir 13” by Jon McGregor. I will be chewing on that one for a long while, I think, but if I tell you
Happy reading (by pool, lake, sea, puddle or anywhere else)